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Posted at 9:45 AM ET, 11/11/2009

Forecast: Clouds & breezy showers to stay a while

By Dan Stillman

Beaches brace for winds, rain, possible flooding

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Today: Overcast & breezy. Rainy. Near 50. | Tonight: Breezy. Showers likely. 40s. | Tomorrow: Overcast & windy. Showers likely. Upper 40s to low 50s. | A Look Ahead | Beach Impacts | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


When it comes to winter storms, the D.C. area almost always finds itself straddling the rain/snow line (or rain/ice, snow/ice, or lots-of-snow/barely-a-flurry line). We're looking at a similar but different boundary nearby over the next few days -- a rain/not-as-much-rain line. We'll be on the northern fringe of rains associated with the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida. So while everyone is in line for extended periods of rain, storm totals look to be less for northern parts of the region (maybe under an inch for some spots) and more for southern/southeastern parts (possibly approaching or surpassing 3 inches).

Radar: Latest regional radar loop shows movement of precipitation over past three hours. Powered by HAMweather. Refresh page to update. Click here or on image to enlarge. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

Today (Veterans Day): A steady, though generally light rain is likely to last through much of the day. Rain totals will be higher the further south you go, while areas north of town could see a few breaks in the precipitation. Temperatures should be mostly steady, near 50, and it'll be breezy out of the northeast at 10-20 mph. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Continued overcast and breezy with showers likely, especially but not limited to south and east of town. Lows in the 40s. Confidence: Low-Medium

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend....

Tomorrow (Thursday): Current indications are that the center of what was Ida will meander off the North Carolina/South Carolina coast. That leaves us overcast and windy (sustained winds of 15-25 mph with higher gusts) with highs in the upper 40s to low 50s and the potential for extended periods of steady rain. Southern and eastern parts of the area can expect the heaviest amounts, with breaks in the action possible north and west of D.C. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow Night: Cloudy and breezy with a chance of showers or drizzle and lows in the 40s. Confidence: Medium


The ghost of Ida continues to spin off the coast on Friday, possibly close enough to keep us partly to mostly cloudy and quite breezy with highs in the low-to-mid 50s and at least occasional light showers. Confidence: Low-Medium

The low-pressure center from what was Ida finally starts to drift further east into the Atlantic on Saturday, but still we can't rule out the chance of lingering cloud cover and even a passing shower or two, especially during the early part of the day. Overall brightening of the skies should lift highs to at least the upper 50s, perhaps into the low-to-mid 60s if we see some honest-to-goodness sun. And winds should be much diminished. Confidence: Medium

Sunday has a shot at being a pretty nice day, especially for mid-November: Partly sunny skies at least, light winds and highs in the mid-60s to near 70. Confidence: Medium


At the Maryland and Delaware beaches, at least two days if not three days of onshore winds on the order of 20-30 mph could mean significant beach erosion and the very real possibility of costal flooding. Any rain would only exacerbate the situation, though like the D.C. area the Eastern Shore looks to be near the border between substanital rain and not so much.

Flooding and erosion are an even bigger concern further south for Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks, where higher wind gusts (to near 50 mph) and heavier rains (several inches) are likely.

By Dan Stillman  | November 11, 2009; 9:45 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Veterans Day often signals stormy weather


What a beautiful holiday.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | November 11, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

... If you're a duck! Quack, quack!

Posted by: dprats21 | November 11, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Yep...the much-needed-rain crowd...with a nice boost from El Nino!!!

Once again we have a three-day siege of CRUD...nothing but plain ol' rain & a lot of raw wind. Not even an embedded thunderstorm for some excitement!

Meanwhile...try getting something like this in January or February when we could use a three-day SNOWSTORM??? It never happens...the jet stream is too fast and whisks it out over the Atlantic. [In addition, tropical systems are nearly UNKNOWN in meteorological winter, though the occasional subtropical storm can sometimes form near Bermuda or the Yucatan region into the Caribbean.]

BTW, the current El Nino is now "moderate", somewhat like those of 2003 or 2006. It's only about half as strong as the strong Nino's of 1983 and 1998.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | November 11, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Your forecast at this point seems to call for clouds but no actual rain for Friday morning. Do I have that right? Looking forward to an outdoor acctivity in the a.m. -- Thanks!

Posted by: CarefulNervousMotherDriving | November 11, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Okay, gotta ask since you guys are calling for a 60% chance of a cold and snowy winter.

Since we had the noreaster the middle of last month, and now this system that seems to be setting up a noreaster, is this an indication that this will be the winter pattern? Most of our big snow events, if memory serves, call for a low to form south of us and then come up the coast, with a lot of cold air thrown in.


Posted by: MKoehl | November 11, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse


I wish I could say we're in the clear for Friday morning, but some rain may stick around until then or even later. There's some uncertainty as to when exactly this storm will pullout, so keep checking back.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | November 11, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse


You're right about basic ingredients necessary for a big snow here. I'm not sure this event signifies anything though. It is largely due to the interaction of the remnants of Ida with a weak front... and in the winter, it's highly unlikely we'll be dealing with the remnants of tropical lows. What will be more important is activity along the subtropical jet stream...which might be elevated due to El Nino.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | November 11, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse


That's not quite right... the Friday forecast in this post calls for "at least occasional light showers" ... but forecast confidence is on the low side, so do keep checking back.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | November 11, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Dan and CWG: Many thanks! I will keep checking.

Posted by: CarefulNervousMotherDriving | November 11, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

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